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Freedom and Choices

Jet-lagged and weary, Maria Goretti brings love, laughter, holiday tales and a favourite Shortcake cupcake recipe, exclusively from Maria's Kitchen. Read on for more...

india Updated: Jul 23, 2011 18:50 IST
Maria Goretti
Maria Goretti
Hindustan Times

And I have been travelling since the 26th April now, I'm not really complaining, I so do love to travel, but what drives me completely INSANE , is the jet-lag...And i have been fighting it ever since i returned, but then I travelled again to an awards ceremony to Toronto and, Mr.Jet-lag is again my best friend...

Well this holiday of mine has been like a self discovery holiday, and I have learnt so many new things about myself.Its wonderful and scary simultaneously..My heart felt free and I always had a smile on my lips. And though I was on holiday with my ZZ'S who have endless energy , I was not on a schedule, I was the mistress of my own devices, the Choreographer of my own musical, the DJ with my own vinyl...and it felt good ..very good...

Well i was still brushing teeth, washing bums, folding clothes, running, chasing, feeding, cooking, screaming, blowing stuffy noses and other '"Mommy activities", but i still had time to sit down and stare into space with a green tea and think of stuff i not not thought about in a very long time..err about 8 years ...

Short cakeI was able to connect with every one with an open heart and lived the moment like it was fully meant to be lived...I felt like a butterfly with the strongest and prettiest pair of wings, i could fly where i wanted to and really felt happy ...And now that I'm back and sitting in my own kitchen, baking , I'm just reminiscing about all the wonderful places I have romanced and those memories will stay with me in my heart forever..

Every photograph tells a story...and I love this collection of stories, because they will always be a reminder of a summer where I met family and friends, and spent amazing moments with and , got sun-kissed and happy..I actually laughed till i cried..Smiled till my jaw hurt..Danced like no one was watching..Loved without any expectations..Ate like it was all low cal..Swam till i was salty and burnt..

And so i dedicate this to all the wonderful family and friends I spent time with on this holiday and who touched my heart and will always be part of my insanity ...

JUGGIE-sorry for fighting with you while shooting, but then you are the only person I actually fight with, and know that it will always be alright, thanks for being there forever and ever know I love you the most...

RAJ- for being so calm and happy amid the chaos ..salute I say Brother..

KYLE- For making us laugh with your mad brand of funniness and that naughty smile on your face is gonna be a heart-breaker some day..

CRUZ- For the best and I mean the BEST HUGS in the world...

DURRAIN-It really does not matter if I meet you again after 9 years it will always be like, you just driving up on your Harley for dinner..

SHAROZE- for always being my friend whether I was mad with you or not talking to you....or whether we sharing mad , bad and sad times...

DANNY- No holiday is complete unless I come and spend time with you, Rani, Karan, Krish and Arya...
Zeke and Zene love you "Unca Danny"

RANI-The most wonderful and clean heart I know, you are as beautiful inside as you are outside and every time I come over , its like coming home...

AUNTY Bhajan - Well you looked after Arshad in Barnes and sneaked parathas to him, so I know you love him, but that hug you gave me when I first met you , just told me that you have a lot of love to give ..
Thank you for that lovely day we spent at your home, and the amazing food..
but the nicest was hanging with you drinking green tea...Love and hugs always....

RAJEEV- Thanks for the nicest holiday in the shortest span of time, in spite of little Tanu not being well, you, Dolly and Goo-Goo gave us such a lovely warm time, pray to God that you do get that home by the lake , so that the pride and me can come run around and jump on that trampoline...

SANJEEV-For an amazing ride, in the most beautiful country-side, 180km/hr made me feel like a butterfly, happy and flying, yet completely safe...
Could not have asked for a better way to mark the end of my holidays...
Wish you happiness, peace and freedom always..

I learnt a lot about myself, on this holiday..and a lot of things will still stay the same..
I still get frightened alone.
I actually love eating vegetables and fruits.
I love crunchy salad without the dressing (even though I sound like a goat)
I have given up Chocolate to test my will power, but it will always stay the BIG LOVE in my life.
I forgive easily if I like the person, but dammit it takes me time to forget,
I dislike some people on sight..
I do everything in excess, so hoping to work on the restrain..
I have to voice what my heart is feeling, or I feel like I'm gonna burst, and I mostly get into trouble FOR OPENING MY BIG MOUTH( my girl-friends are fed-up)
I never give up on friends very easily , and will give it my best and all, till I feel probably it's not meant to be, then I feel awful and delete their number...stupid na ???
I like leaving notes for people I love..
I love running in the open it...
I cannot diet, its a bad word for me...

I have started singing again after 20 years, and I love what singing does to me has opened my heart and let me breathe easy ... Magical ..I like keeping in-touch and am a mad kinda texting person...I still cannot make friends easily..But I keep the ones I love close to my heart...with or without them knowing ...

We'll I think will keep some for later ..... And so today decided to make something simple , because that's how our life should be..So here goes

Shortcake cupcakes

2/3 cup whole milk
1 cup all purpose flour/maida
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees

Heat the milk in a medium sauce pan over a low flame, just until its hot, and not boiling, remove from heat and keep aside.In another bowl , sift the flour, baking powder and salt.In a large bowl , using an electric mixture on medium speed , beat the eggs and the sugar, until thickened and lightened to a cream colour about 2-3 minutes.Then mix in the vanilla and almond extracts.On low speed mix in the flour mixture, until fully incorporated.Slowly add the hot milk and continue mixing for about 30 o 40 seconds, until the batter is smooth, the batter will be thin.Spoon out the batter into the cup cake liners and moulds and bake for 16-20 minutes, Let the cup cakes cool..I then took the easy way out and got a bottle of ready made whip cream..I cut the cup cakes in half and squeezed a big mound of fresh cream into it , then layered it with strawberries and black berries that i love...These muffins were easy to make and my kitchen smelt sweet and subtle ..yet very wanting...

So while I sit at home and go through my holiday pictures ,each little photograph tells a story of a time that stood still , and it brings back a smile to my face , all these fantastic memories of a holiday well spent with people who were part of it..

And to ARSHAD who is the "wind beneath my wings"..who lets me be the gypsy that I am and who makes all these wonderful holidays possible even if he is not able to be part of it...Thanks for being "THE KING OF THE JUNGLE"....

We'll what can i say, this is what life is made off...simple little pleasures..But you can also add a bit of zing to it and make it what you want..Thats your choice...As for me I like to travel a path less trodden ...Don't like being part of a crowd...So here's presenting simple little muffins, layered with sinful fresh cream and zingy strawberries and black berries.

Don't get fooled by its simplicity ...It's laden with far more than the eyes can see, yup its pretty to look at, but its the bite that makes all the difference..and yup it hits just the right spot...sweet , soft and slightly tart all at the same time ...

And suddenly you are tasting what I call "Freedom and choices''.. made with a whole lot of wonderful memories , only from "Maria's Kitchen"...

From HT Brunch, July 24

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First Published: Jul 23, 2011 14:54 IST